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 William Hodges 
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Post William Hodges
Last night I went to a lecture about William Hodges given by Dr. Geoffrey Quilley of the National Maritime Museum (Greenwich). Hodges was the artist on Cook's second voyage of discovery. (I am familiar with the engravings done from Hodges' original sketches and paintings, since part of my job when I worked at the museum was cataloging them.)

Dr. Quilley discussed was the relationship between culture and imperialism and the part that artwork played in this relationship. This is something I had never really thought about before, other than just appreciating the images as strictly wonderful pieces of art or as a visual record of the voyage.

Another interesting point Dr. Quilley made was that Hodges' paintings of the coastline could be seen as valuable aids to navigation in addition to the typical pen and ink drawings and charts made by the officers of the ship. Native vessels added interest to the composition but also gave clues as to safe passages among the reefs and rocks and anchorages, current, and wind direction.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Quilley before the lecture. He was very approachable and helpful in terms of answering the questions I had. He is currently working on a book that covers British art and colonialism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It sounds like one to keep an eye out for.

If anyone is interested in learning more about Hodges, here is a nice overview from the NMM site.

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susan


Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:34 pm
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